Patrick J. McDonnell

Patrick J. McDonnell

Owner and Partner
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

phone (610) 337-2087
fax (610) 337-2575


Areas of Practice:

Employment Law
Commercial Transportation
Premises Liability
Premises Security
Product Liability
Sexual Abuse Investigation
Professional Liability

Bar and Court Admissions:

Pennsylvania, 1991

New Jersey, 1992

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania


Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, J.D.,1991, magna cum laude, William P. Spafford Scholarship, Dean's List, 
Temple Law Review

Villanova University, B.S., economics, 1988


American Board of Trial Advocates

American Bar Association

National Fire Protection Association 

The National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms

Patrick McDonnell’s practice encompasses all aspects of litigation and trial work including: premises liability, employment law, professional liability, product liability, commercial litigation, defamation and premises security. He has tried more than 100 civil cases to verdict, most of them resulting in outright defense verdicts. His experience includes the successful defense of employers, premises owners, manufacturers and retailers in courtrooms throughout the country. He serves as a national coordinating counsel for a large retailer’s specialty trial group. In that capacity, he has conducted multiple “mock trials” and focus groups to develop comprehensive trial themes and defense strategies. 

For over 25 years, Patrick has represented one of the nation’s largest companies in both complex tort and employment litigation. He has defended catastrophic high exposure injury cases to favorable verdicts. He has represented employers against claims alleging discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, and disability. As a member of a large retailer’s rapid response team, he has investigated numerous large exposure incidents in order to preserve evidence, prepare internal reports, and make remedial recommendations. He has served in similar capacity to investigate incidents of premises and workplace violence, including fatal shootings and sexual assaults. In addition to traditional discrimination actions, Patrick has defended claims alleging violations of wage and hour, family medical leave, use of criminal records, and medical record disclosure violations. He has also defended defamation claims arising from these types of suits; and brought cost recovery and defamation claims on behalf of clients who were wrongfully sued. 

Patrick is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Supreme Court of New Jersey Board on Attorney Certification; a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates; included in Thomson Reuters’s Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® List; and identified by Martindale-Hubbell as “Preeminent” or “AV rated.” Patrick frequently lectures to retailers, transportation companies, and health care professionals on employer liability, risk management, expert witnesses, and workplace/premises security. 

Representative Matters:

Serve as coordinating and trial counsel for a large retailer for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (“CRPS”), traumatic brain and spinal cord injury cases throughout the country. In that capacity, we recently obtained a defense verdict in New Jersey arising from a display collapse where the plaintiff demanded multi-million dollar damages allegedly due to CRPS treated with multiple surgical and interventional procedures.  

Successfully defended a catastrophic multiple-fatality motor vehicle accident in two separate jurisdictions where the plaintiffs claimed that an employer required its manager to work a 22-hour shift before he fell asleep at the wheel during his drive home. In cases of first impression, both federal and state courts separately rejected any employer’s duty to prevent a fatigued employee from operating his personal vehicle to drive home.

Successfully defended a workplace shooting for a large retailer where a customer purchased ammunition and then shot his wife, an off-duty employee, in the back of the store. The District Court and then the Third Circuit held that an employer has no duty to prevent domestic violence at the workplace and an ammunition retailer has no duty to screen purchasers for signs of mental illness or homicidal tendencies.

Defended premises security case in Massachusetts that involved an assailant who abducted a young mother and toddler from a parking lot and traumatized them physically and mentally for several days. The plaintiff claimed that the parking lot offered inadequate security. The firm was retained only a few weeks before trial and conducted mock trials before focus groups to develop the most effective trial strategy. After the firm obtained multiple in limine orders that limited the types of “other crime and incidents” evidence plaintiff could present at trial, which essentially resulted in partial summary judgment for her key liability theory, the case settled on terms favorable to the client.

Successfully defended a large manufacturer of space heaters to a defense verdict where it was alleged that a large commercial rental property was destroyed in a fire due to manufacturing and design defects. 

Served as defense counsel in formulating a national trial strategy for “take home” asbestos cases. Focus groups were conducted in multiple magnet jurisdictions throughout the country to test themes and evaluate likely jurors’ reaction to certain epidemiological evidence.

Defended a premises security case that involved an assailant abducting a young mother and toddler from a parking lot. During a drug fueled crime spree, the assailant carjacked the plaintiff’s vehicle and forced her to drive to multiple locations where he raped her in the presence of her toddler. The plaintiff claimed that the parking lot offered inadequate security. Patrick was retained only a few weeks before trial due to an illness of prior defense counsel. Patrick utilized focus groups to develop successful defense narratives and learn the demographics of likely favorable jurors. The firm also filed multiple successful motions in limine that effectively limited the types of “other crime and incidents” evidence that plaintiff could present to establish negligent security. Following the rulings on the evidentiary motions and Patrick’s opening statement that stressed themes developed during the focus group sessions, the case settled on terms favorable to the client.

Retained by corporation-defendant to serve as coverage and monitoring counsel to secure indemnity and “ready the case” prior to trial. Plaintiff suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of a defective toy and filed a product liability suit against the insolvent manufacturer and retailer. Patrick obtained insurance coverage for the retailer despite the manufacturer’s insolvency and effectively utilized focus group to “try” the case before negotiating a favorable settlement. The focus group sessions demonstrated that a jury was likely to consider the plaintiff’s own fault in causing the accident even though the injuries were severe.


Transportation MegaConference XII Handling the Troublesome Damages Claim - Investigation and Litigation Challenges.  March 12, 2015.

"Discussion of Removal Issues 
Arising from Arbitration Cases"
The Legal Intelligencer, Vol. 274 No. 71, April 12, 2013 

"Jurors Talking Back," Voir Dire, Volume 13 (1), 2006

"Advanced Evidence," Lorman, 2004

"Expert Witnesses," NBI, 2004

Professional Recognitions:

American Board of Trial Advocates: Advocate

Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Supreme Court of New Jersey Board on Attorney Certification

Selected for Inclusion in Pennsylvania “Super Lawyers®,” 2008-2016

Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania “Super Lawyers-Rising Star®," 2005-2006

Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent Rating, 2000-2016


Adult Contact with Minors—Institutional Best Practices for Investigating, Reporting and Preventing Abuse in Light of the Penn State and Clergy Scandals.

Link to article

610.337.2087  King of Prussia, PA

856.429.5300  Cherry Hill, NJ

© 2021 McDonnell & Associates

© 2012-2021 McDonnell & Associates. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer.  Welcome to the web site of McDonnell & Associates.


The Law Offices of McDonnell & Associates serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey in communities such as Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading, Allentown, Scranton, Cherry Hill, Camden, Millville, and Atlantic City

Metropolitan Business Center
860 First Avenue, Unit 5B
King of Prussia, PA, 19406
Phone: 610-337-2087
Fax: 610-337-2575

500 Marlton Pike West
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Phone: 856-429-5300
Fax: 856-310-7900